The pragmatics of 'never tell too plainly': Indirect communication in Chan buddhism

Asian Philosophy 10 (1):7 – 31 (2000)
This is a philosophical investigation of the linguistic strategy of Chinese Chan Buddhism. First, it examines the underlying structure of Chan communication, which determines the Chan pragmatics of 'never tell too plainly'. The examination of the structural features of Chan communication reveals what the Chan 'special transmission' means. The Chan definition of communication is very different from the Aristotelian conception of communication in the West. The Aristotelian hierarchy of speaker over listener, or the direct over indirect, is absent is Chan communication. Communication in the Chan context is interactive, open-ended and determined by its existentio-practical concern. Second, this essay investigates the different types of the Chan strategies of indirect communication, such as the use of paradoxical, tautological and poetic language, which best demonstrate the principle of 'never tell too plainly'. The whole study indicates that Chan Buddhism provides the resources for our contemporary inquiry into the issue of indirect communication.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09552360050001743
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,827
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Inside the Concept: Rethinking Dōgen's Language.Rein Raud - 2011 - Asian Philosophy 21 (2):123 - 137.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
31 ( #180,501 of 2,210,924 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #380,778 of 2,210,924 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature